Finch: A heartwarming but forgettable tale

Finch follows the heartwarming journey of aging scientist Finch Weinberg (Tom Hanks) as he attempts to build a caretaker for his dog Goodyear. The twist: he’s living in a post-apocalyptic Earth that was ravaged by a solar flare and will fry anything that steps out of the shade in anything less than a hazmat suit. Finch is slowly dying and must teach his robotic creation, Jeff, to love and take care of the little terrier before he passes away. The film tracks the characters as Finch struggles to survive and Jeff struggles to understand what it means to be human.

The plot of the movie is tolerable but seems to leave a lot of unanswered questions throughout the film. There are details mentioned by the characters that are just completely irrelevant or never used. For example, the group loses the power source to their RV at one point in the movie, this never affects them in any way though and the characters continue as if nothing happened. Plot holes like these appear constantly throughout the film and are distracting once noticed. There’s also a lot of supposedly scary situations which quickly appear and disappear, and cause no real problems for the heroes. It feels like the plot is creating the action out of necessity to drive itself forward.

The cinematography is well done but lacks any flair or originality. The camera never cuts abruptly and there are no awkward scene changes but that’s about all it has going for it. The movie also feels dark, especially in the night shots and it makes some of the movie hard to watch. There is nothing adventurous or groundbreaking about the camerawork, which reflects the rest of the movie pretty well. No disappointments, but nothing stands out either.

Tom Hanks is let down by the writing in the film and it feels like he’s trying his best for a script that is just boring. The plot is far too predictable outside of various random weather events which do not have that much impact. The script is at its best when Jeff and Finch are interacting but whenever the movie starts to show emotion it comes off as cheesy, derivative, or even forced.

Tom Hanks does some great acting in this film and carries some of the emotional scenes but the real stars of the show are the non-human parts of the cast. Jeff, voiced by Caleb Landry Jones, gradually becomes more human throughout the film and delivers an excellent performance as Goodyear’s caretaker-to-be. Some of the jokes he makes do not quite land and the movie switches between him being a heartfelt character and comic relief, making the movie itself feel indecisive. The characters are endearing and the actors do a good job, but they still feel a little forgettable.